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Black Power Posters – Impact and Influence

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The University of Queensland Art Museum

Saint Lucia, QLD 4072

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Black Power posters created in the mid-twentieth century by Emory Douglas are among the most powerful and enduring visual images of protest and solidarity in the past century. They helped define a symbol of African American solidarity and have influenced protest symbolism across the world into the 21st century.

The University of Queensland Visual Politics Research Group and the University of Queensland Art Museum will present a seminar on Black Power Posters – Impact and Influence featuring Emory Douglas and his Australian collaborator, artist Richard Bell. The discussion panel will include UQ’s Roland Bleiker, Professor of International Relations, and Sally Butler (Associate Professor of Art History).

The discussion panel will feature short statements and then open to the floor for conversations about how the Black Power aesthetic provides a rallying point for protest art and imagery and considers transformations in poster art in the digital era. Some key questions include:

What plays of the role of political posters in the public realm today?

Have political posters migrated online, or taken on different forms in the global political landscape?

What iconic images inspire political change today, and where do they occur?

Is social media really a public space where political ‘interventions’ can occur, or do we still need inspirational images in real time and space?

Are art installations, residencies, and participatory art events, now the paramount artistic form to inspire change in the political imagination?

Emory Douglas (b.1943) is an internationally leading USA artist whose posters largely defined the Black Power aesthetic during the 1960s and 1970s. He became Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party in 1967 and has remained a leading artist activist working across the world. Emory Douglas and Australia’s Richard Bell have collaborated on art and activism works and events since 2009.

Richard Bell (b.1953) is an Australian artist and political activist known for his confronting stance against racism and social injustice still inflicted on Australian Indigenous people. His work has been exhibited and collected across the world for over two decades, as well as numerous personal collaborations with international artists and activists, including Emory Douglas.


IMAGE:

Richard Bell and Emory Douglas
Foley Vs The Springboks (Green) 2014 (detail)
synthetic polymer paint on linen
120 x 150 cm
Collection of The University of Queensland, purchased 2015.
Photo: Carl Warner
Reproduced courtesy of the artists and Milani Gallery, Brisbane.

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The University of Queensland Art Museum

Saint Lucia, QLD 4072

Australia

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